Phantoms

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Happy Halloween!

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Decorated with the Dead

It is a grim problem. A church has only so many burial spaces on its grounds. What is to be done if the demand for burial spaces exceeds capacity? Over the centuries, macabre solutions emerged, and a few of them appear in this week’s Halloween post.

Sedlec Ossuary

The Sedlec Ossuary is located in the Czech Republic. According to the Sedlec Ossuary website, it “is artistically decorated by more than 40,000 human skeletons.”

How did the Sedlec Ossuary end up being decorated this way? It is a tale that began way back in 1278. After an abbot of the Sedlec Cistercian Monastery returned from Jerusalem with a jar of earth from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Sedlec cemetery became a popular place to be buried. People wanted their remains to mingle with the “‘Holy Soil’” that the abbot spread over the cemetery. The cemetery filled up quickly, especially after the Black Plague swept through Europe, and expansion of the cemetery became a necessity. A Gothic church was built near the cemetery in the 15th century, and the basement of the church served as an ossuary (a place to store the bones of dead people) for several centuries.

Over the years, two decorators were assigned to the task of arranging the bones in the Sedlec Ossuary. The Sedlec website notes that this task was initially given to a “half blind monk who arranged the bones.” Three hundred years later in 1870, a local woodcarver named Frantisek Rindt picked up where the monk left off and took bone arranging in a whole new artistic direction. His work is what people see today when they visit the Sedlec Ossuary, which is also called the Church of Bones or the Bone Church.

Sources:

“Sedlec Ossuary: The Church of Bones” – sedlecossuary.com

“Sedlec Ossuary History: Historical Facts” – sedlecossuary.com

 

Sedlec Ossuary Entrance.jpg

By Strider gts (talk)Tyler Nofziger via Wikimedia Commons
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

entrance to the Sedlec Ossuary

Sedlec Ossuary
This is the entrance to the Sedlec Ossuary.
April 19th, 2006

 

Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms.jpg

Photo by en:User:Polyparadigm, released into public domain. Wikimedia Commons

Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms in the Sedlec Ossuary

Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms, executed by František Rint in 1870 for the Sedlec Ossuary.
21:06, 29 October 2005

 

Skeletal Arrangements, Sedlec Ossuary (6282849715).jpg

By Antony Stanley from Gloucester, UK [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

lamp and wall decorations made of human bones at the Sedlec Ossuary

Skeletal Arrangements #1, Sedlec Ossuary
23 October 2011, 11:29
Source: Skeletal Arrangements #1, Sedlec Ossuary

 

Kostnice Sedlec.JPG

By Pudelek (Marcin Szala) (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

bone chandelier at Sedlec Ossuary, Kutná Hora

Sedlec Ossuary, Kutná Hora
December 2008

 

Bone Chandelabra.jpg

Photographer: Daniel Wabyick from San Francisco via Wikimedia Commons
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Bone Chandelabra in Kutna Hora Ossuary. Czech republic

Bone Chandelabra
Bone Chandelabra in Kutna Hora Ossuary. Czech republic
2004-09-30 12:52:06
Source: Flickr.com – image description page

 

Sedlec Ossuary – Interior 9.JPG

By Interfase (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sedlec Ossuary - Interior

Sedlec Ossuary – Interior
This is a photo of a cultural monument of the Czech Republic,
number: 30874/2-1082
14 August 2014, 15:00:22

 

Sedlec Ossuary signature.jpg

Photo by en:User:Polyparadigm, released into public domain. Wikimedia Commons

Signature of the woodcarver who was charged with arranging the bones of the Sedlec Ossuary (František Rint from Česká Skalice).

Signature of the woodcarver who was charged with arranging the bones of the Sedlec Ossuary (František Rint from Česká Skalice).

 

Skull Chapel, Czermna

Located in southwestern Poland, Skull Chapel also has an interior decorated with human bones. Smithsonian reporter Perrin Doniger outlines some impressive statistics about how many bones cover its walls and ceiling and fill its crypt:

The skulls and leg bones of over 3,000 victims of wars and plagues cover the walls and ceiling, and a crypt below, accessible through a trapdoor, houses over 21,000 additional remains. Between 1776 and 1804, the local priest, Vaclav Tomasek, painstakingly gathered, cleaned and carefully arranged skeletons recovered from numerous, shallow mass graves left by the Thirty Years’ War, Silesian Wars and cholera outbreaks.

Source: “This Creepily Beautiful Chapel in Czermna, Poland, Is Constructed Out of Thousands of Human Bones” by Perrin Doniger – Smithsonian.com

Doniger further notes that Father Tomasek reserved the altar of Skull Chapel for “the bones of important figures and curiosities, including the skull of the local mayor, skulls with bullet holes, a skull deformed by syphilis and the bones of a supposed giant.” After he died in 1804, Father Tomasek’s skull “was placed on the altar as well.”

Although Skull Chapel is eerie, one can appreciate the amount of effort Father Tomasek put into decorating this church. He had only two assistants to help him with this task. According to Wikipedia, he worked with someone named J. Schmidt as well as a grave digger named J. Langer. In addition, Wikipedia notes that Father Tomasek’s artistic inspiration for Skull Chapel was “the Capuchin cemetery” (also known as the Capuchin Crypt), which we will visit next.

Sources:

“Skull Chapel, Czermna” – Wikipedia

“This Creepily Beautiful Chapel in Czermna, Poland, Is Constructed Out of Thousands of Human Bones” by Perrin Doniger – Smithsonian.com

 

Poland – Czermna – Chapel of Skulls – interior 02.jpg

By Merlin (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Interior of the Skulls Chapel in Czermna, Poland.

Interior of the Skulls Chapel in Czermna, Poland.
16 August 2009

 

Poland – Czermna – Chapel of Skulls – altar with skulls 03.jpg

By Merlin (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Poland - Czermna - Chapel of Skulls - altar with skulls

Chapel of Skulls in Czermna, Poland. Kaplica Czaszek w Czermnej. Poland – Czermna – Chapel of Skulls – altar with skulls
16 August 2009

 

File:Poland – Czermna – Chapel of Skulls – interior 07.jpg

By Merlin (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

angel wall decoration surrounded by bones at the Chapel of Skulls in Czermna, Poland

Chapel of Skulls in Czermna, Poland. Kaplica Czaszek w Czermnej. interior
16 August 2009

 

Poland – Czermna – Chapel of Skulls – ceiling.jpg

By Merlin (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Poland - Czermna - Chapel of Skulls - ceiling

Chapel of Skulls in Czermna, Poland. Kaplica Czaszek w Czermnej. Poland – Czermna – Chapel of Skulls – ceiling
16 August 2009

 

Poland – Czermna – Chapel of Skulls – cellar with skulls 01.jpg

By Merlin (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Poland - Czermna - Chapel of Skulls - cellar with skulls

Chapel of Skulls in Czermna, Poland. Kaplica Czaszek w Czermnej. Poland -Czermna – Chapel of Skulls – cellar with skulls
16 August 2009

 

Capuchin Crypt

According to Wikipedia, the Capuchin Crypt is located underneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini on the Via Veneto near Piazza Barberini in Rome, Italy. The Capuchin Crypt is the final resting place for the remains of approximately 3700 people. It is believed that these people were Capuchin friars, but no one knows for sure if all of them were friars. Having a smaller amount of human remains does not mean that the Capuchin Crypt is less eerie than the Sedlec Ossuary and Skull Chapel. In fact, the Capuchin Crypt makes up for its low body count with an orderly but creepy body management system. Wikipedia summarizes this system in its brief description of the construction of the crypt:

When the monks arrived at the church in 1631, moving from the old monastery, they brought 300 cartloads of deceased friars. Fr. Michael of Bergamo oversaw the arrangement of the bones in the burial crypt. The soil in the crypt was brought from Jerusalem, by order of Pope Urban VIII.

As monks died during the lifetime of the crypt, the longest-buried monk was exhumed to make room for the newly deceased who was buried without a coffin, and the newly reclaimed bones were added to the decorative motifs. Bodies typically spent 30 years decomposing in the soil, before being exhumed.

Source: “Capuchin Crypt” – Wikipedia

The bones, which are remains “believed to have been taken from the bodies of friars who had died between 1528 and 1870,” were then nailed, piled together, or hung in one of five rooms within the Capuchin Crypt:

  1. The Crypt of the Resurrection
  2. Crypt of the Skulls
  3. Crypt of the Pelvises
  4. Crypt of the Leg Bones and Thigh Bones
  5. Crypt of the Three Skeletons

There is a sixth room in the Capuchin Crypt called The Mass Chapel, but this room is used to celebrate Mass and does not contain any bones.

Capuchinos 2.jpg

By Tessier via Wikimedia Commons
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

remains of a deceased friar and bone wall art at the Capuchin Crypt

cripta Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini

 

Capuchinos 3.jpg

By Tessier via Wikimedia Commons
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

remains of four robed friars, bone wall art, and crosses at the Capuchin Crypt

Cripta de Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, Roma

 

Cripta Cappuccini.jpg

By Tessier via Wikimedia Commons
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

the remains of three robed friars and bone wall art at the Capuchin Crypt

Cripta di Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini

 

Rom, Santa Maria Immacolata a Via Veneto, Krypta der Kapuziner 1.jpg

By Dnalor 01 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

two disembodied arms and bone wall art at the Capuchin Crypt

Cripta di Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini
12 April 2003, 16:36:17

 

Rom, Santa Maria Immacolata a Via Veneto, Krypta der Kapuziner 2.jpg

By Dnalor 01 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

two robed deceased friars, three skeletons, and bone wall art at the Capuchin Crypt

Cripta di Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini
12 April 2003, 16:36:56

 

Wikipedia notes that the “Catholic order insists that the display is not meant to be macabre, but a silent reminder of the swift passage of life on Earth and our own mortality.” I have not been to the Capuchin Crypt myself, but I can imagine how unsettling it would probably be to be surrounded by walls of human bones and mummified friars and then read the following placard in the Crypt of the Three Skeletons:

“What you are now we used to be; what we are now you will be…”

 

Source: “Capuchin Crypt” – Wikipedia

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Ghostly Ladies

This week’s post features photos inspired by The Woman in White, who is also known as the White Lady. In folklore and mythology, she is essentially a female ghost. The White Lady is often portrayed as a tragic figure who has lost a lover, and she is also seen as a harbinger of death in some cultures.

The “white ladies” in these photos are not apparitions, but they do have an otherworldly quality that fits in with the Halloween season.

Source: “White Lady (Ghost)” – Wikipedia

 

Weeki Wachee spring 10079u.jpg

Underwater view of a woman, wearing a long gown, floating in water

Underwater view of a woman, wearing a long gown, floating in water. Photograph by Toni Frissell at Weeki Wachee spring, Florida, USA, 1947. Public domain image.

 

Death plunge-The Awakening.jpg

By Leahtwosaints (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

woman plunging into water

Underwater photograph of a woman plunging to her death rather than face unwanted marriage, circa 1900.
The underwater photography exercise reminded me of the novel by Kate Chopin, “The Awakening”.
3 September 2002

 

Constant Puyo – Women in Veils c1900.jpg

Constant Puyo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

photo of two women wearing veils

Constant Puyo: Women in Veils, 1900s
Date: circa 1900
Source: http://flickr.com/photos/gatochy/286193388/sizes/o/

 

Amelia Van Buren, Woman draped in veil, ca. 1900.jpg

By Amelia Van Buren [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Profile portrait of woman draped with a veil

Profile portrait of woman draped with a veil. Photograph by Amelia C. Van Buren, ca. 1900.
Date: circa 1900

 

Sad Arcadia Child Under Veil.jpg

By D. Sharon Pruitt from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, USA [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

sad girl covered with a white veil

Arcadia Child
My photos that have a creative commons license and are free for everyone to download, edit, alter and use as long as you give me, “D Sharon Pruitt” credit as the original owner of the photo. Have fun and enjoy!
26 November 2006, 13:21

 

Loie Fuller cph.3b32532.jpg

By Falk Studio [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 Loie Fuller standing, facing front; wearing large gown, with arms raised in shape of a butterfly

Loie Fuller standing, facing front; wearing large gown, with arms raised in shape of a butterfly.
1901

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A Shadowy World

With each passing autumn day there is less daylight, and the world becomes slowly engulfed in shadows. Dark thoughts and fears arise, and some of them are reflected in the eerie photos in this week’s post.

Night

Skogsoy moonlight.JPG

By Yosh3000 (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Moonlight over the sea. Location: Skogsøy, east of Mandal, Norway.

Moonlight over the sea. Location: Skogsøy, east of Mandal, Norway.
July 2008

 

Robin Lakes Moonlight (3871896805).jpg

By Jeffrey Pang from Berkeley, CA, USA (Robin Lakes MoonlightUploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Lower Robin lake, just after dusk.

View On Black. Lower Robin lake, just after dusk.
Taken on a trip to the Robin Lakes Area, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington in August 2009.
30 August 2009, 19:13
Source: Robin Lakes Moonlight

 

Moon-Glow Waterfalls ForestWander.JPG

http://www.ForestWander.com [CC-BY-SA-3.0-us], via Wikimedia Commons

Moon Glow Waterfalls

Moon Glow Waterfalls
28 April 2008
Source: http://www.forestwander.com/2009/01/moon-glow-waterfalls/

 

Dark Forests

Forêt en Alsace.jpg

By Frank van de Velde from Amsterdam, The Netherlands (nightly forest I) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

France, Vosges, July 2009

France, Vosges, July 2009
6 July 2009, 23:13
Source: nightly forest I

 

Saint-Girons – 20130108 (5).jpg

By Olybrius (Self-photographed) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Saint-Girons Ariège, Midi-Pyrénées, France

French: Saint-Girons (Ariège, Midi-Pyrénées, France) : Perdu dans la hêtraie de Sourroque au crépuscule.
English translation: Saint-Girons (Ariège, Midi-Pyrénées, France) :
Lost in the beech forest Sourroque dusk.
8 January 2013, 17:55:35

 

Cypress swamp in the mist (6893887647).jpg

By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters (cypress swamp in the mist Uploaded by Dolovis) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, GA Photo: George Gentry/USFWS

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, GA Photo: George Gentry/USFWS
17 February 2012, 19:07
Source: cypress swamp in the mist

 

I wonder which way the wind blows here^ – geograph.org.uk – 634363.jpg

Martyn Gorman [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wind swept hawthorn trees on the exposed shore of the Ythan Estuary

I wonder which way the wind blows here? Wind swept hawthorn trees on the exposed shore of the Ythan Estuary.
16 December 2007
From geograph.org.uk

 

Into the Unknown

Kata salle radios jms.jpg

Paris Catacombs - the "Radio Room" 25m under the Val-de-Grâce hospital

Paris Catacombs – the “Radio Room” 25m under the Val-de-Grâce hospital
Photo J.M. Schomburg (my own)
Attribution: “Photo: J.M. Schomburg”
http://www.jm-schomburg.com
http://www.paris-promenades.com

 

Père-Lachaise avenue fog.jpg

Lothar42 at the German language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, avenue in fog

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, avenue in fog
uploaded 2004-10-15

 

Ponttovuori tunnel.jpg

By Tiia Monto (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Abandoned Pönttövuori railway tunnel

Abandoned Pönttövuori railway tunnel. It has been built between years 1914–1917.
22 April 2012

Death

Cemetery in fog (335717947).jpg

By Michal Osmenda from Brussels, Belgium (Cemetery in fog Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The memory of most men is an abandoned cemetery where lie, unsung and unhonored, the dead whom they have ceased to cherish. Any lasting grief is reproof to their forgetfulness. Explored Dec 27, 2006 #489 24 December 2006, 14:24 Source: Cemetery in fog

The memory of most men is an abandoned cemetery where lie, unsung and unhonored, the dead whom they have ceased to cherish. Any lasting grief is reproof to their forgetfulness.
Explored Dec 27, 2006 #489
24 December 2006, 14:24
Source: Cemetery in fog

 

Faded grandeur (4437300307).jpg

By Ben Salter from Wales (Faded grandeur Uploaded by Oxyman) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

old grave partially covered with vines

Faded grandeur
15 March 2010, 12:18
Source: Faded grandeur

 

Covering the past (4437300599).jpg

By Ben Salter from Wales (Covering the past Uploaded by Oxyman) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

cemetery gravestones

Covering the past
15 March 2010, 12:26
Source: Covering the past

Dust

Dust covered ridge of Bunkers Hill, Richmond estate YORYM-TA0006.jpg

By Tempest Anderson [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dust covered ridge of Bunkers Hill, Richmond estate

Dust covered ridge with tree stumps protruding. The palm trees have been devastated by hot pyroclastic flows from Soufriere Volcano. Gully erosion of ash.
Saint Vincent
1902
Source: The Tempest Anderson Photographic Archive held at York Museums Trust

 

Dust Bowl – Dallas, South Dakota 1936.jpg

By Sloan (?) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Buried machinery in barn lot in Dallas, South Dakota, United States during the Dust Bowl, an agricultural, ecological, and economic disaster in the Great Plains region of North America in 1936

Buried machinery in barn lot in Dallas, South Dakota, United States during the Dust Bowl, an agricultural, ecological, and economic disaster in the Great Plains region of North America in 1936
13 May 1936
United States Department of Agriculture; Image Number: 00di0971 (original link now dead)

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Nature’s Halloween Garden

Now that October is here, it is time for my second annual series of Halloween-themed posts. This week’s post features some of the dark weirdness of the natural world. Together with beautiful summer wildflowers and autumn leaves, nature creates creepy looking fungi and plants that look like they belong in horror or science fiction movies.

Freaky Fungi

Hydnellum peckii

According to Wikipedia, this weird fungus is found in North America and Europe, and it “was recently discovered in Iran (2008) and Korea (2010).” It “forms mutually beneficial relationships with a variety of coniferous trees, growing on the ground singly, scattered, or in fused masses.” The “blood” of this fungus has inspired several colorful common names, including strawberries and cream, bleeding Hydnellum, bleeding tooth fungus, and red-juice tooth. The blood appears only while it is young. When it gets old, it becomes “brown and nondescript.”

Source:Hydnellum peckii” – Wikipedia

Hydnellum peckii2.jpg

By Bernypisa (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Hydnellum peckii - Young specimen

Hydnellum peckii – Young specimen – Bellamonte (TN), Italy – 17/08/2005 – personal photo – B.Baldassari
17 August 2005

 

Scharfer Korkstacheling Hydnellum peckii.jpg

By H. Krisp (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Bleeding Tooth Fungus, Red-Juice Tooth or Devil's tooth, Hydnellum peckii

Bleeding Tooth Fungus, Red-Juice Tooth or Devil’s tooth, Hydnellum peckii, Family: Bankeraceae, Location: Germany, Ulm, Eggingen
22 September 2012

Clathrus archeri

Wikipedia describes this fungus as “indigenous to Australia and Tasmania and an introduced species in Europe, North America and Asia.” Its tentacle-like arms have earned it the common name of “Octopus Stinkhorn.” As its common name implies, this fungus literally stinks. In fact, it “smells of putrid flesh” when it reaches maturity.

Source: “Clathrus archeri” – Wikipedia

Clathrus archeri.jpg

By de:Benutzer:Oilys [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

octopus stinkhorn

octopus stinkhorn
October 2004

 

Clathrus archeri-Ain.JPG

By Classiccardinal (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Clathrus archeri.

Clathrus archeri.
15 October 2013, 17:21:55

Hericium erinaceus

According to Wikipedia, the common names for this shaggy mushroom include Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Bearded Tooth Mushroom, Hedgehog Mushroom, Satyr’s Beard, Bearded Hedgehog Mushroom, pom pom mushroom, and Bearded Tooth Fungus. It is actually edible, and it is also used for medicinal purposes. It is “native to North America, Europe, and Asia.” Wikipedia further notes that “in the wild, these mushrooms are common during late summer and fall on hardwoods, particularly American Beech.”

Source: Hericium erinaceus” – Wikipedia

Hericium erinaceum on an old tree in Shave Wood, New Forest – geograph.org.uk – 254892.jpg

Jim Champion [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Hericium erinaceus on an old tree in Shave Wood, New Forest

Hericium erinaceus on an old tree in Shave Wood, New Forest This Hericium erinaceum fungus (also known as “tree hedgehog fungus” or “bearded tooth”) is growing on a wound on the trunk of an old oak tree in Shave Wood. It is classified as endangered in Great Britain, and its distribution is restricted to areas of woodland where there has been a long continuity of old trees.
7 October 2006
Source: From geograph.org.uk

 

Lions Mane (4501233135).jpg

By Jason Hollinger (Lion’s ManeUploaded by Amada44) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Hericium erinaceus in US, MD, Big Run State Park

Hericium erinaceus 20091007.175 US, MD, Big Run State Park
7 October 2009, 10:31
Source: Lion’s Mane

Phallus indusiastus

According to Wikipedia, this fungus is “commonly called bamboo fungus, bamboo pith, long net stinkhorn, crinoline stinkhorn or veiled lady.” It is found “in southern Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia, where it grows in woodlands and gardens in rich soil and well-rotted woody material.”

Wikipedia further notes that “the cap is covered with a greenish-brown spore-containing slime, which attracts flies and other insects that eat the spores and disperse them.” Despite the slime, this fungus is actually edible and widely used in Chinese haute cuisine. Because it “also contains various bioactive compounds, and has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties,” it has also been used in Chinese medicine.

Source: Phallus indusiastus” – Wikipedia

Phallus indusiatus from Kerala, India – 20090824.jpg

By Ajaykuyiloor (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

A Bamboo Pith (Phallus indusiatus) from Kerala

A Bamboo Pith (Phallus indusiatus) from Kerala. Christmas Bush (Chromolaena odorata) leaves are also visible.
24 August 2009

Phallus multicolor

According to Wikipedia, this fungus is “found in Australia, Guam, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Papua New Guinea, Zaire, and Tobago as well as Hawaii.” It is in the same family as Phallus indusiastus and looks similar to it. However, it is smaller than Phallus indusiastus, and it is more brightly colored. I am not sure if it is edible or used for medicinal purposes.

Source: “Phallus multicolor” – Wikipedia

Phallus multicolor.jpg

By Gihan Jayaweera (At Sri Lanka) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Orange and green Phallus multicolor

At Sri Lanka
2013

Creepy Plants

Chiranthodendron pentadactylon

Also called Devil’s hand-flower, monkey hand-flower, and Mexican hand-flower, this tree is native to Guatemala and southern Mexico. According to Wikipedia, the “Aztecs and others have used solutions containing the tree’s flowers as a remedy for lower abdominal pain and for heart problems.”

Source: Chiranthodendron” – Wikipedia

Chiranthodendron pentadactylon 4.jpg

By Stan Stebs [CC-BY-SA-3.0 CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Chiranthodendron pentadactylon (Mexican hand tree) at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, taken June 2005 by User:Stan Shebs

Photo of Chiranthodendron pentadactylon (Mexican hand tree) at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, taken June 2005 by User:Stan Shebs

 

Closer look at the “Devil’s hand”.jpg

By Tatiana Gerus (Flickr: Closer look at the “Devil’s hand”) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

"Devil's hand" out of calyx

Fallen “Devil’s hand” out of calyx . The curious shape of the stamens which are partially united and form a red small hand with hooked fingers.
See notes. Correct me if you know.
Species name Chiranthodendron pentadactylon – the only species of this genus Family: Malvaceae (former Sterculiaceae) Native: America: Mexico – Guatemala Common names: devil’s-hand-tree, Mexican-hand-plant , Monkey’s Hand, árbol de la manita
21 September 2010, 15:43:01
Source: Flickr: Closer look at the “Devil’s hand”

Stenocereus eruca

According to Wikipedia, this cactus is “endemic to the central Pacific coast of Baja California Sur, and is found only on sandy soils, where it forms massive colonies.”

It is commonly called “Creeping Devil” because of its strange growth pattern:

Creeping Devil lies on the ground and grows at one end while the other end slowly dies, with a succession of new roots developing on the underside of the stem. The growth rate is adapted to the moderate, moist marine environment of the Baja peninsula, and can achieve in excess of 60 cm per year, but when transplanted to a hot, arid environment the cacti can grow as little as 60 cm per decade. Over the course of many years, the entire cactus will slowly travel, with stems branching and taking root toward the growing tips, while older stem portions die and disintegrate. This traveling chain of growth gives rise to the name eruca, which means “caterpillar” as well as the common name Creeping Devil.

Stenocereus eruca is considered the “most extreme case of clonal propagation in the cactus family” (Gibson and Nobel, 1986). This means that due to isolation and scarcity of pollinating creatures, the plant is able to clone itself. This is done by pieces detaching from the major shoot as their bases die and rot.

Source: Stenocereus eruca”Wikipedia

Stenocereus eruca 1.jpg

By Stan Stebs [CC-BY-SA-3.0 CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Stenocereus eruca at the University of California Botanical Garden

Photo of Stenocereus eruca at the University of California Botanical Garden, taken June 2006 by User:Stan Shebs

 

Stenocereus eruca, Creeping Devils at Huntington.jpg

By Pamla J. Eisenberg from Anaheim, USA [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Stenocereus eruca, Creeping Devils - Huntington Library Desert Botanical Garden

Stenocereus eruca, Creeping Devils – Huntington Library Desert Botanical Garden in afternoon after and during rain, February 2009 – Various cactus and succulent plants -
11 February 2009, 04:27
Source: Stenocereus eruca, Creeping Devils at Huntington Library Desert Garden

Corymbia calophylla

Wikipedia describes Corymbia calophylla as “a bloodwood native to Western Australia.” It is commonly known as Marri and Port Gregory Gum. The “blood” of the tree is actually red kino or plant gum that comes out of the tree when incisions are made in its trunk.

Sources:

Corymbia calophylla” – Wikipedia

“Kino (gum)” – Wikipedia

Corymbia calophylla kino.jpg

By Hesperian (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Copious flow and puddling of kino from the base of a Corymbia calophylla (Marri).

Copious flow and puddling of kino from the base of a Corymbia calophylla (Marri). This is the source of the common names “Bloodwood” and “Red Gum”.
The tree is located on the roadside near the intersection of South Western Highway and Brockman Highway, just south of Bridgetown, Western Australia.
23 July 2009

Corymbia terminalis

Corymbia terminalis, also known as the Desert Bloodwood, is a tree native to Australia.

Source: Corymbia terminalis” – Wikipedia

Bloodwood Bleeding.jpg

By Bjørn Christian Tørrissen [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Close-up of a bleeding bloodwood tree, corymbia terminalis.

Close-up of a bleeding bloodwood tree, corymbia terminalis. The “blood” sap will soon “coagulate” and close the “wound”.
27 November 2008
Source: Own work by uploader, http://bjornfree.com/galleries.html

Strangler Figs

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, strangler figs include “many species of tropical figs (genus Ficus) named for their pattern of growth upon host trees, which often results in the host’s death.” A strangler fig begins life as an epiphyte that harmlessly grows upon another tree. However, it eventually develops long roots that create a “strangling latticework” that usually kills its host tree. These bizarre lethal trees are found “in tropical forests throughout the world.”

Source: “Strangler Fig” – Encyclopaedia Britannica

Strangler tree.jpg

By Vinayaraj (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Strangler tree

Strangler tree
14 April 2012

 

Strangler Fig Ta Prohm Angkor1315.jpg

By Michael Gunther (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A strangler fig is attacking a banyan tree, which in turn is attacking the stones of the temple.

A strangler fig is attacking a banyan tree, which in turn is attacking the stones of the temple.
2 August 2014, 23:13:15

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Autumn Splendor

It definitely feels like autumn here in Sacramento. The late evenings and early mornings are cooler now, and some much-needed rain fell upon the city over the past few days. While I am not thrilled at the prospect of more days of falling temperatures and decreasing daylight, I find consolation in looking at beautiful autumn landscapes and brightly colored autumn leaves.

Autumn Lakes

Autumn-lake-morning-foliage – Virginia – ForestWander.jpg

http://www.ForestWander.com [CC-BY-SA-3.0-us], via Wikimedia Commons

 Autumn Lake Morning Foliage

Autumn Lake Morning Foliage
10 November 2011
Source: http://www.forestwander.com/2012/01/autumn-lake-morning-foliage/

 

Lake Vuoksa 1.jpg

By Dmitry A. Mottl (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Okunevy Island in Lake Vuoksa.

Okunevy Island in Lake Vuoksa.
20 October 2009

 

Steirapollen, 2010 September.JPG

By Ximonic, Simo Räsänen (Own work) [GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

 A view to Steirapollen from Knutstadveien (E10) towards east in 2010 September.

A view to Steirapollen from Knutstadveien (E10) towards east in 2010 September.
28 November 2010

 

Barques lac Val Joyeux Chateau-la-Valliere.jpg

Photo: Myrabella / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Flat-bottomed rowboats on the Val Joyeux pond (so-called "lake") in Château-la-Vallière, Indre-et-Loire, France.

Flat-bottomed rowboats on the Val Joyeux pond (so-called “lake”) in Château-la-Vallière, Indre-et-Loire, France.
1 November 2011

Autumn Paths

Autumn Forest

By Larisa Koshkina     http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=66634&picture=autumn-forest

Autumn forest and mysterious path between trees

Autumn forest and mysterious path between trees
(Note: No details were available about where this picture was taken.)

 

The Long Plantation (1) – geograph.org.uk – 1561741.jpg

Peter Trimming [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

the Long Plantation path in autumn

The Long Plantation (1) Superb autumn colours, with just a hint of sunlight filtering through the canopy, made me glad that I chose this route. The path is very narrow in places, this being one of the wider points. View in the direction in which I was heading; from Chipstead, towards Fanny’s Farm Shop.
30 October 2009
Source: From geograph.org.uk

Autumn Light

Park zamkowy w Pszczynie 03promykjck.jpg

By Jacek Cisło (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-pl], via Wikimedia Commons

 Heritage castle park in Pszczyna, Poland.

Heritage castle park in Pszczyna, Poland.
This is a photo of an object of cultural heritage inscribed in the registry of the Silesian Voivodeship with number A/535/65.
30 September 2012, 21:55:11

 

Autumn-trees-leaves-foliage-sunset – West Virginia – ForestWander.jpg

http://www.ForestWander.com [CC-BY-SA-3.0-us], via Wikimedia Commons

 Autumn Trees Leaves Foliage Sunset

Autumn Trees Leaves Foliage Sunset
1 November 2010
Source: http://www.forestwander.com/2010/11/autumn-trees-leaves-foliage-sunset/

 

Country-road-autumn-mountain-sunset – Virginia – ForestWander.jpg

http://www.ForestWander.com [CC-BY-SA-3.0-us], via Wikimedia Commons

Country Road Autumn Mountain Sunset

Country Road Autumn Mountain Sunset
27 August 2011
Source: http://www.forestwander.com/2011/08/country-road-autumn-mountain-sunset/

 

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Good-bye Summer

With autumn literally just a few days away, I want to take one last look at the beauty of summer in this week’s post.

Summer Flowers

2014-06-24 12 17 46 Wildflowers east of Elko County Route 748 (Charleston-Jarbidge Road) along the border of the Mountain City and Jarbidge ranger districts in Copper Basin, Nevada.JPG

By Famartin (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wildflowers east of Elko County Route 748 (Charleston-Jarbidge Road) along the border of the Mountain City and Jarbidge ranger districts in Copper Basin, Nevada

Wildflowers east of Elko County Route 748 (Charleston-Jarbidge Road) along the border of the Mountain City and Jarbidge ranger districts in Copper Basin, Nevada
24 June 2014, 12:17:46

 

Pontederia cordata 4 PP.jpg

By Cephas (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Pontederia cordata, Plaisance National Park, Quebec, Canada.

Pontederia cordata, Plaisance National Park, Quebec, Canada.
12 July 2011

 

Oxbow Bend outlook in the Grand Teton National Park.jpg

I, Michael Gäbler [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Oxbow Bend outlook in the Grand Teton National Park. View over the Snake River to the Mount Moran with the Skillet Glacier (12,605 ft/3,842 m), Bivouac Peak (10,825 ft/3,299 m) and Eagles Rest Peak (11,258 ft/3,431 m) in the Teton Range, Wyoming, United States.

Oxbow Bend outlook in the Grand Teton National Park. View over the Snake River to the Mount Moran with the Skillet Glacier (12,605 ft/3,842 m), Bivouac Peak (10,825 ft/3,299 m) and Eagles Rest Peak (11,258 ft/3,431 m) in the Teton Range, Wyoming, United States.
July 1980

Summer Forests

Tarvasjõgi.jpg

By Ireen Trummer (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 Tarvasjõgi at Kõrvemaa Nature Park in Estonia.

Tarvasjõgi at Kõrvemaa Nature Park in Estonia.
24 August 2011

 

Waterfall Julian Alps Slovena (1).JPG

By User:Cfp (My Pentax Optio S4.) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A photo of a waterfall taken near Kranjska Gora, Julian Alps, Slovenia in Summer 2004.

Taken near Kranjska Gora, Julian Alps, Slovenia in Summer 2004.

Harvest Time

Burford, Oxfordshire, August 2006 harvest, stubble fields and straw bales 1.jpg

By David McDermott (Flickr: English Harvest) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Numerous round straw bales (and a few stacked square ones) on stubble fields.

Numerous round straw bales (and a few stacked square ones) on stubble fields. – Grain harvest is early this year; farmland just outside of Burford, Oxfordshire, on the edge of the Cotswolds in England.
8 August 2006, 07:42
Source: Flickr: English Harvest

 

Wheat close-up.JPG

By User:Bluemoose (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wheat plants

Wheat.
August 2005

Summer Sunsets

Summer sunset over the Sevastopol bay.jpg

By Serhiy Kostyshyn (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Summer sunset over the Sevastopol bay.

Summer sunset over the Sevastopol bay.
3 June 2006

 

Ehrenberg in Ilmenau.jpg

By Felix Neumann [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A composite image (from three exposures of the same scene), depicting the summer sunset across the Ehrenberg in Ilmenau, Ilm-Kreis, Thuringia, Germany.

A composite image (from three exposures of the same scene), depicting the summer sunset across the Ehrenberg in Ilmenau, Ilm-Kreis, Thuringia, Germany.
25 July 2007
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-contented/2000114409/

 

Goodbye, summer day (5402830641).jpg

By Bernal Saborio from Costa Rica (goodbye, summer day) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

photo of a sunset with palm tree silhouettes

goodbye, summer day
28 January 2011, 17:21
Source: goodbye, summer day

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